Posted by Anastasia Horn on August 22, 2019 in Blog

The Arab American Institute is excited to host Emel Mathlouthi on October 17th, 2019 at the Lincoln Theatre in Washington, DC.  A Tunisian musician whose songs focus on peace and justice, her work was banned in her home country from 2008 to 2011.  During the 2011 revolution, her song “Kelmti Horra” (My Word is Free) became a rallying cry for the protesters, especially after she was filmed singing it in the streets of Tunis.  In 2015, she performed an awe-inspiring rendition of “Kelmti Horra” in Oslo at the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony, where Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet was given the award.

Emel has performed across the US and in forty countries around the world, including at some of the most prominent music festivals in the Arab world. In 2013, after she was denied entry into Palestine for a performance, Emel performed in Jordan and broadcast the show to Ramallah. Recently, AAI had the honor of presenting Emel with a Special Recognition Award at the 2019 Gibran Gala, where she stunned attendees with her performance of “Kelmti Horra” and “Naci en Palestina” (Born in Palestine). 

Come witness the stunning artistry that led that NPR to call Emel Mathlouthi, "the 21st Century's Catalyst for Change,"  in Washington, D.C. as part of her fall 2019, "Everywhere We Looked Was Burning" tour! Tickets for Emel Mathlouthi’s DC performance are on sale now and can be found at

We hope to see you there!


Emel's performance at the 2019 Gibran Gala